Running a home day care:  Helping your own child adjust


There are many benefits to running your own home day care – supplementing your family’s income, staying home with your own children, setting your own schedule, choosing who you want to work with, tax deductions for day care business-related expenses . . . the list goes on and on!  But, while your children may be happy to have you around, it can also be very difficult for them.  They are expected to share their toys, their space, their home, and their very own mommy (or daddy) with the many other children that come through.  It’s not the same as having siblings, either, because day care children come and go, have different rules, and have their own parents to themselves while they’re at home.  Here are a few ways to make life a little easier for your own child:


  • Separate the day care toys from your child’s toys. Allow your child to have their own collection of things that they are not required to share.  One suggestion is to let your children know that they can play with their own toys, on their own, outside of the playroom.  This means that any toy brought into the playroom is considered fair game and falls under day care rules of sharing.
  • Differentiate between “Day Care Rules” and “Family Rules”.  For example, during day care hours, food doesn’t leave the kitchen with the exception of outdoor snack time.  But, after the day care is closed for the day, snacks, or maybe even dinner (indoor picnic, anyone?), can be eaten in places other than the kitchen.
  • Allow your child to play alone or with other friends.   Sometimes they just need a break from your day care!  (But remember, your child’s friends will count in your numbers until the day of their 13th birthday.)
  • Implement special treats or routines into your schedule, out of view of the day care children. For example, nap time in mommy’s bed or cuddle time when the day care children are asleep.  It doesn’t have to happen every day, but when it does, it can go a long way towards helping your child cope with sharing everything, including her parent!
  • Schedule special family-only activities or outings on the weekends or evening.  Sometimes, being away from the house is just enough to give everyone a break from the “day care you call home”!


Adapted from